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Education 2021-2022

The Senate Education Committee met on Monday, November 8, 2021 and considered the following bills:

All of the items on the agenda were reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4, except for SB 527 – Automatic Escalator for EITC/OSTC, which went over.

First Meeting at 12pm in Room 8E-B:

SB 527 (PN601) REGAN – Automatic Escalator for EITC/OSTC Scholarships

  • Amendment A02870 (Martin) begins escalator in FY2022-23, ups the total cap to $225M and changes the % allocated to the different funds.

SB527 went over.

HB 1660 (PN1882) SONNEY – Temporary Emergency Provisions

  • Amendment A02864 (Martin) adding language that if the emergency is because of an infectious disease, the emergency provisions are limited to 21 days.

A02864 was adopted along a party line vote of 6-4.

The bill was reported out of committee, as amended, by a party line vote of 6-4.

HB 1642 (PN2232) White – Economically Disadvantaged Schools

  • Amendment A02819 (Martin) to clarify that the supplemental scholarship caps ($2K; $4k for secondary) are “up to” that amount – not an guarantee of that amount

A02819 was adopted along a party line vote of 6-4.

The bill was reported out of committee, as amended, by a party line vote of 6-4.

Letter to IRRC disapproving Charter Regulations #6-349

The letter received a party line vote of 6-4.

Second Meeting OTF in Rules Room:

SB 931 (PN1196) MARTIN – Definition of Household Income

The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4.

SB 932 (PN1197) MARTIN – Definition of School Related

The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4.

SB 933 (PN1198) MARTIN – Proxy votes for PASSHE BOG

The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4.

SB 934 (PN1199) DUSH – Displaying Preamble of PA Constitution in schools

The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4.

SB 935 (PN1200) MARTIN – Displaying Preamble of US Constitution in schools

The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4.

SB937 (PN1203) BROOKS – Prohibiting COVID-10 Vaccine Mandates for Children

The bill was reported out of committee by a party line vote of 6-4.

The Senate Appropriations and Education Committees met held a joint public hearing on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 on the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education update regarding the latest report pursuant to Act 50 of 2020:

The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on  Wednesday, October 20, 2021 to discuss the proposed regulation #6-349 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on charter schools and cyber charter schools.

The Senate Education Committee met on Monday, October 18, 2021 and considered the following bills:

HB 1332, PN2241 (Lewis) – Empowering Parents with Curriculum Transparency

  • Amendment A02575 (Martin) – changes the information required to be posted online and defines chief school administrator.

A02575 was adopted by a party-line vote of 7-4

The bill was reported out of committee, as amended , along a party line vote of 7-4

HB 1660, PN1882 (Sonney) – Amending Temporary Emergency Provision in School Code

  • Amendment A02581 (Martin) – allows temporary emergency provisions for only 21 calendar days, versus the 60 days in the current version, and requires an active emergency declaration to be in place for any extension, also limited to only 21 days — among other changes. Nearly a gut and replace.

HB1660 went over. We anticipate it may be considered next week during a not yet confirmed voting meeting before the joint PASSHE hearing on Tuesday.


The Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 and considered the following three bills:

 SB 603, PN677  (Brooks) – Amends the Public School Code of 1949 to establish procedures for removing a tick from a student and provide information on Lyme disease.

  • A02252 (Brooks) Amendment– Provides for the testing of ticks after their removal.

A02252 passed 10-1, with Sen. DiSanto voting in the negative

The bill was reported out of committee 10-1, with Sen. DiSanto voting in the negative

SB 786, PN923 (Aument) – Amends the Public School Code of 1949 to permit charter schools, IUs, and career and technical schools to participate in open campus initiatives.

  • A02394 (Aument) Amendment makes two changes. It replaces “school district” with “school entities” and adds new language specifying cyber charter schools can offer courses for free – but must disclose a fee if there is one.

A02394 passed 10-1, with Sen. Brewster voting in the negative

The bill was reported out of committee 9-2, with Senators Brewster and Kearney voting in the negative

SB 846, PN10140 (Mastriano) – Amends the Public School Code of 1949 to allow a parent or guardian of a school age child to opt-out of a school’s requirement to wear a mask or face covering in school. The bill further prohibits schools from requiring parents to provide an “excuse” for the opt-out.

  • Amendment A02252 (Mastriano) – Expands opt-out option to masking decisions made by local school boards.

A02252 passed by a party-line vote of 7-4

The bill was reported out of committee by a party-line vote of 7-4

The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on September 23, 2021 on on the impacts of PA Department of Health orders on Pennsylvania’s children and schools:


The Senate Education Committee and Senate Labor & Industry Committee held a joint public hearing on September 22, 2021 on the importance of adult education as part of Pennsylvania’s workforce development system:


The Senate Education Committee held a public heaing on Friday, August 6, 2o21 on COVID-19 policies and guidance for schools with the Department of Health and Department of Education

The Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday, June 22, 2o21 to consider the following:

The confirmation of Acting Department of Education Secretary, Noe Ortega.

The committee voted him out with a unanimous “No recommendation.” Senator Williams noted during discussion her displeasure with the ‘no recommendation’ and the need to confirm the Secretary without delay on the Senate Floor.

SR 144 (Aument)2030 Commission on Education and Economic Competitiveness voted out unanimously

SB 729 (Ward)Online Education & Nurse Aide Training Program voted out unanimously

HB 1013 (Gleim)CTE Certifications on High School Student Transcript voted out unanimously


The Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday, June 15, 2o21 to consider amendment A01694 to SB 1:

SB 1 (Martin)

Amendment A01694 eliminates the statewide charter authorizer and creates a tiered decrease in payments to cyber charter schools. The amendment was voted out 10-1, with Senator Kearney voting in the negative.

The Committee then voted to recommit SB 1 as amended, 7-4 with all Democratic members voting in the negative.

The Senate Education Committee met on Monday, June 7, 2o21 to vote on the following bills:

SB 324 (PN 850) LANGERHOLC – Fostering a Smooth Transition for Graduation

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, in pupils and attendance, providing for assisting students experiencing education instability.

Amendment A01083–This amendment removes third-parties as points of contact.

Reported Unanimously As Amended

 SB 1 (PN839) MARTIN, CORMAN, DISANTO –  Excellence in Education for All

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, to revise advertising requirements for charter schools, provide increases in ETIC and OSTC tax credits, and creates a Public Charter School Commission.

Reported out 7-4 (Senators Williams, Kearney, Comitta, Brewster, and Brooks voting in the negative)

SB 733 (PN 835) J Ward – Keystone Scholarship Program for Exceptional Students

This bill establishes the the Education Opportunity Account Scholarship Program for Exceptional Students; and imposing duties on the Treasury Department, participating schools and resident school districts.

Reported out 6-4 (Senators Williams, Kearney, Comitta, and Brewster voting in the negative)


Senate Education Committee met on May 10, 2021 to vote on the following bills:

SB73 (PN54) LANGERHOLC—School Mandate Wavier

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, by adding a new section that would allow school boards or other governing authorities of a school entity to seek mandate waivers.

Reported out 7-3 (Sens. Williams, Kearney, and Comitta voting in the negative)

SB237 (PN206) BARTOLOTTA—Dual Enrollment for Charter Schools

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, to allow charter schools, regional charter schools, and cyber charter schools to enter into dual enrollment agreements with institutions of higher education.

Reported out 9-1 (Sen. Kearney voting in the negative)

SB351 (PN353) LANGERHOLC—Community Engaged Schools for Success Pilot Program

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, by adding Article XV-K that creates a pilot program for Community-Engaged Schools. Community-engaged schools are schools that develop and implement a community engagement plan to provide engaged student support services.

Reported Unanimously

SB664 (PN 728) CORMAN—Optional Year of Education Due to COVID-19

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, to give students the ability to repeat a grade level during the 2021-2022 school year to account for any lost educational opportunities due to COVID-19, including students with disabilities who reached the age of 21 during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Reported Unanimously

HB365 (PN337) HARKINS—Removing derogatory terms from Pennsylvania school code

This bill amends the Public School Code by removing outdated terminology used to describe children with intellectual disabilities and updating the Public School Code to include more appropriate language.

Reported Unanimously

HB412 (PN845) GLEIM—Substitute Teacher Shortage (day-to-day substitute teachers)

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, by adding a section to Article XI (relating to Professional Employees) by limiting a day-to-day substitute permit to 20 days. The bill also repeals the sunset provision for the Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers program and clarifies that members with an inactive certification and receiving an annuity may not be employed as a substitute teacher, principal, superintendent or assistant superintendent.

Reported Unanimously

HB416 (PN963) QUINN—DOMinate Epilepsy: Seizure Recognition Legislation

This bill amends the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L. 30, No. 14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, by allowing school nurses, or a professional employee whose duties include direct contact with students, to complete a Department of Health approved course on managing students with seizures.

Amendment A00945–This is a technical amendment to remove an unintended reference to paraprofessionals.

Reported Unanimously As Amended


The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing on April 19, 2021 on pursuing excellence: needed K-12 education reforms in Eastern Pennsylvania:


Senate Education and Appropriations Committees met on March 23, 2021 to consider the following bills:

SB 83 (PN61) BROOKS—Firefighter Training Pilot Program for High School Students

Amendment A00476: Ensures the pilot programs comport with section 7 of the Child Labor Act.

SB 224 (PN194) BARTOLOTTA—Non-Resident Teacher Certification Reciprocity

SB 247 (PN215) PHILLIPS-HILL—Protecting the First Amendment Right to Freedom of Religious Expression

SB 381 (PN367) MARTIN—Renewing the Substitute Teacher Program for Prospective Educators

SB 83 was reported out of Committee unanimously as amended. The remaining bills were reported out of Committee unanimously.


Senate Appropriations and Education Committees held a  Joint Hearing on March 4, 2021 on COVID Impact on Local Districts, Parents, Students, and Educators:


Senate Appropriations and Education Joint Committee Hearing met on February 9, 2021 for a PASSHE Update:


Senator Lindsey Williams

Senator Lindsey Williams

Committee Chair